Chicago firm plans 2 area wind farms
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A Chicago-based wind energy firm plans to build two more wind farms in the Great Falls area and plans to help build a new transmission line needed to ship the power to out-of-state markets. I n v e n e r g y W i n d Development LLC spokesman Mark Jacobson said the company expects to begin construction on new wind farms near Belt and Cut Bank in two to five years. Invenergy also has agreed to help Tonbridge Power Co. Of Toronto develop a 100-mile transmission line called the Green Line between Great Falls and a major east-west transmission line near Townsend, Jacobson said. Under the agreement, Invenergy will invest in the early development of the line and pay Tonbridge to ship 350 megawatts of power. Invenergy will receive transmission credits to repay its investment. Jacobson would not say how much Invenergy will contribute toward the development, but Tonbridge CEO Robert van Beers called Invenergy's commitment a "tremendous boost" to the project. "It means we have financial partners so the development can proceed, and the development is supported by three parties," van Beers said. Invenergy is the second anchor shipper Tonbridge has lined up for the Green Line, behind Gaelectric of Ireland. Invenergy and Gaelectric have reserved a combined 850 megawatts on the line. Gaelectric has previously said its 500 megawatts worth of wind energy will come from projects planned east of Belt and in the Geyser area. The Green Line would be a southern extension of Tonbridge's Montana Alberta Tie Line, a transmission project that will connect the electrical grids of the United States and Canada and Great Falls and Lethbridge, Alberta.